SPORTS know no boundaries— no age, race, nationality, religion, or location. Sports is for all, and the recent MILO® Marathon held in Iloilo City last September 24, 2023, proved this to be true.
With over 20,000 runners in attendance at the third leg of the longest-running and most prestigious run, MILO® once again brought together countless stories of grit, perseverance, and inspiration from the runners; showing how everyone is a Champion in their own right.
Visually impaired runners from the Integrated School for Exceptional Children (ISEC) Iloilo were some of the standout stories from the run. 10-year-old Zayn Varon and 14-year-old Yeisha Jayme were first-time MILO® Marathon runners who joined the run to maintain an active lifestyle and spend quality time with friends. When asked what his message was for fellow kids who might be struggling, Zayn simply responded, “laban lang!”
Also among the group of ISEC Iloilo runners was father-daughter tandem Fhellix Somes and Fhel Ashera Somes. When asked why they joined the run, Fhellix shared that Fhel aspires to one day compete in the Paralympics, and staying physically active and drinking MILO® everyday are the ways in which Fhellix helps his daughter become a Champion in her journey to success.
MILO® has maintained its commitment to be inclusive as it extends across the spectrum of sports programs such as the MILO® Marathon, Sports Clinic, and Barangay Liga. These initiatives reflect a deeply rooted mission that recognizes the transformative power of sports for all children, regardless of their physical abilities.
Carlo Sampan, Head of MILO® Sports, shared that he believes sports is more than just winning medals and trophies, it’s about camaraderie. He further elaborated by stating, “At MILO®, we’re dedicated to ensuring that every child, regardless of their physical abilities, can find inspiration and empowerment through sports. From the MILO® Marathon to our Sports Clinics and the MILO® Barangay Liga, our programs aim to nurture both athletic skills and essential life values, fostering a future where every child can participate and thrive.”
Coach Rio, a renowned athlete and founder of RUNRIO, the partner organizer of all MILO® Marathon events, passionately champions inclusivity in running for individuals from diverse backgrounds, emphasizing the holistic advantages it offers. He applauded MILO®’s unwavering commitment to promoting an active lifestyle among children and envisions the heartwarming experiences of events like the MILO® Marathon Iloilo as a catalyst for greater inclusivity, enabling differently-abled runners to partake in sporting endeavors.
As Coach Rio put it, “with MILO®’s unwavering dedication to championing an active lifestyle for kids, I hope that this heartwarming experience will open doors for all differently-abled runners to participate in sporting events such as this.”
Aside from making the marathon equipped for differently-abled runners, MILO® and RUNRIO worked with local government units and partners to make the run accessible to all— including public school students of all ages and indigenous people from far-flung areas.
The MILO® Marathon Iloilo showed how there’s a space for everyone in sports, and how everyone has something to gain from it— may it be physical benefits or personal growth. As part of the Active Pilipinas campaign, MILO® aimed to energize all families and kids from different backgrounds, regions, and abilities to be more active and maintain a healthy lifestyle, may it be through online or on-ground events such as the MILO® Marathon.
Unleash the Champion within you and join the MILO® Marathon in its final leg in Cagayan De Oro on October 29. Visit MILO® Philippines and RunRio on Facebook for more details.
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